Photo courtesy of Peer Advisory Board
Everyone remembers their first days at Drake. You move into a cramped dorm with a complete stranger and wave your family a tearful goodbye. Now you have a bed that is lofted and a pile of laundry started that you have to do yourself. But, you can’t think about any of that now because you have to go to Welcome Weekend activities.
I think we can all agree that Welcome Weekend is awkward. Everyone is nervous and excited at the same time. You never really have a free minute to yourself. There is always some program that you have to be at. I sometimes just wanted to be in my room relaxing and getting ready for class.
Then there are the icebreakers. Let’s be honest, no one likes icebreakers. I would rather just talk to people than have to play name games or stand on a balance beam with them. When you’re playing those games everyone is uncomfortable, and it’s hard to get to know someone by just holding hands and tangling yourself up in a knot. I didn’t mind going and listening to different speakers or watching a skit, but did we really need to play all those games? I think I would have enjoyed Welcome Weekend a lot more without them.
Julia Bartemes is a senior now, but she can still recall her Welcome Weekend at Drake. “I remember that I didn’t like how scheduled it was. We had activities going on all the time, but only with our FYS groups not with people from our floor or anyone else we might have met and made friends with,” Bartemes said.
Bartemes also said that it is good to get to know people outside of your FYS and Welcome Weekend prevents that from happening a lot of the time.
Enough hating on Welcome Weekend though, there are some good things about it. It’s where you meet your friends. I met my best friends during Welcome Weekend. The downtime at night lets you hang out and get to know people and the hypnotist is always a good laugh.
You also learn a lot about the campus and how Drake works, and you get a PMAC to answer any of your freshman questions. “I also liked having dinner with our FYS professor, because we were in an outside-classroom environment, communicating and having fun,” said sophomore Priya Patel. “This made college seem less intimidating.”
We are lucky to go to a school that cares about us and wants our transition into college life to go smoothly. In reality, Welcome Weekend is beneficial to incoming freshmen. Aside from all the silly games, Welcome Weekend eases you into life here at Drake and by the end of it you are ready to dive head first into the life of a college student.